Good web design follows a simple system. It produces a website which balances feeling and function. It looks great for your brand and your customer can get what they want from it.
After five years of building websites, I’ve noticed a series of elements that make up this system. This article will explain those elements and why they make an appealing website.
This article is not a deep dive into design as it can be subjective, this is about good web design elements.
All elements moving forward need to meet two criteria:
- Simple to understand
- Servicing your goal
1. Call To Actions – Showing a Clear Goal
The first area in good web design is a clear plan of attack. A website is a tool, are you using this tool to convert leads into customers or to act as the top of your sales funnel?
With a target in mind, it’s then all about getting your target audience to that destination.
At any point on a website, it should never be difficult for a customer to use. A Call To Action (CTA) will reinforce your website goal, it can come in the following formats:
- Pop up banner
- Sign up form
If your goal is to get the customer on your newsletter, then your CTA sign up form is a direct result of that goal. Writing an effective Call To Action can take time and practice.
To do this, define your website goal and assess your current website condition. To assist, answer the following questions:
- Is my goal clear?
- Do my call to actions reflect this goal?
- Is my website easy to use
2. Navigation Menu – Keeping it Consistent
Inconsistency has no place in an effective web design system. It will result in customer confusion and diverts users away from your goal.
For example, elements like pop-ups without close buttons or hard to see links won’t provide users with an easy or effective experience on your website. To keep customers on your website, we need to create a clear sense of consistency.
Navigation menus are to be accessible and visible at all times. The page links need to be in the order of importance, it must be logical for your customer.
Keeping things consistent overflows into all aspects of your website, marketing and branding. Forbes says “It is the consistent, desired experience that builds trust…(and) loyalty.”
Typical navigation menu includes:
To do this, assess your current navigation menu and apply the above-simplified option. Then, only add the most important links to your customer. If you’re unsure of what they are, either look at your website analytics or contact them.
3. Responsive Optimisation – Making it Quick and Flexible
Websites must load under three seconds on all device screen types. Your customer searches from a phone or tablet and checks again later on their desktop.
I call this, The Three Threes, one website from three devices, three times and within three seconds. A single website needs to be diverse as all elements revolve around The Three Threes.
To break this down, let’s discuss 1) Responsiveness and 2) Optimisation.
- Responsiveness describes how elements change depending on the device. For example, a call to action pop up form could span the whole screen on a desktop but only need to be half the size on mobile. Other elements can hidden depending on the circumstances.
- Optimisation involves compressing elements to increase the load time of pages. This means optimising pictures, graphics and video to be small file size. This is a technical subject, for more help get in touch or discuss with your hosting provider.
To do this, check how your website displays using your phone, tablet and desktop. Ensure you hide or change elements depending on the device.
4. Typography and Colour – Easy to Read, Clear to See
Legibility is as important as consistency throughout a website design. Your goal should be clear, thus your text and imagery should be as well.
Most modern fonts automate this process as they’re made to be legible. Use them with white space and good contrast, this way you won’t have any issues.
We’ll break this up into those two categories; 1) Writing and 2) Display.
- Writing involves the type of language and wording used throughout a website. It’s important to understand people don’t read websites, they scan them. Selecting the right phrases is essential to making customers experiences easy and enjoyable.
- Display involves what fonts and colours you decide to match your brand. Combine consistency with minimal fonts and colours for a correct display. Have a brand style guide to assist more, but generally have one accent colour for your brand. With choices of fonts, select one font for headings, one for paragraph areas and one as an accent.
To do this, assess your home page with the above criteria. Think about how your reader will interpret the information, and answer these questions:
- How can I simplify the language?
- Can my customer read and see all areas?
Remember, less is more.
5. Page Quality – Create Unique Content
Arguably not apart of the web design system, but apart of what makes a good website great, the content.
Page quality is the value provided by your website, it’s why customers will engage. High page quality keeps customers coming back to your website.
Website content equals blog posts, unique posts answer customers’ questions. If you solve peoples problems, they’ll stick around and come back for more
To do this, assess your blog articles and ask yourself:
- Does each post answer one customer question, well?
- Does each post contain high-actionable content specific to your customers?
Key Take-Away Conclusion + Bonus
Now you’re aware of what elements make a good website, you can add them into your website. Use these elements in the beginning or over time on your website. You can do these yourself or with the help of a good freelancer.
Remember the focus of a good website is to assist and convert customers. As a bonus element to support your goal, use testimonials. Social proofing allows your customer to appreciate real stories and experiences.
To do this, get past clients feedback and check profiles like Facebook or Google reviews.